Virgin Voyages and Harding+ part ways; Starboard Cruises welcomed on board
After a six-year partnership, Virgin Voyages and Harding+ have mutually agreed to part ways. Known for breaking industry boundaries, the Richard Branson owned-cruise line envisioned an "alternative strategy" during its planning phrases. Together with Harding+, Virgin Voyages designed a high-end shopping experience at sea that was similar to the ones travelers could find on land.
"Drawing on consumer insights and personal knowledge, Virgin Voyages and Harding introduced established retail brands on-board that sailors loved, such as the first MAC Cosmetics store at sea, and sought out new and interesting fashion, beauty, jewelry, swimwear and skincare options. The result: a comprehensive on-board retail space in Virgin Voyages’ High Street Shops that included lifestyle areas with varying products displayed alongside each other in unconventional ways," reads the press release.
Virgin Voyages discovered purpose-driven companies and secured great representation of ethically sourced labels.
“For more than six years, we’ve enjoyed an incredible partnership with Harding+ and their team, but we’ve mutually decided that it’s time for both brands to explore what’s next,” said Sally Barford, Associated Vice President of Hotel Partnerships at Virgin Voyages.
“We have had great fun leading the cruise retail proposition and working as two innovative companies with shared values for six years, but sometimes we need to part as friends and make some tough choices together around what’s right for business,” added Harding+ CEO James Prescott.
Virgin Voyages has also announced that moving forward in 2023, the brand will now be working with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton company Starboard Cruise Services, the leading global retailer at sea, to continue to offer its sailors an elevated on-board retail experience with the luxury brands they know and love.
The pair will collectively curate the portfolio of brands, custom-designed collections and memorable experiences guests will discover on Virgin’s Lady Ships.